UFC Vegas 15 got hit hard by COVID-19, losing its main event the day before the card. Cageside Press still has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Carlyle vs. Algeo
Parisian vs. Porter
Baeza vs. Sato
Smith vs. Clark
Ryan Fortune (145-70)
Jay Anderson (142-73)
Mike McClory (59-40)
Dan Doherty (119-91)
Gabriel Gonzalez (121-94)
Justin Gibbons (99-80)
Dylan Bowker (105-86)
Doug Murray (5-3)
Eddie Law (74-74)

The original main event of UFC Vegas 15 was between top heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes, but Blaydes tested positive for COVID the day before the event. That pushed up Anthony Smith and Devin Clark’s matchup to the headlining spot.

The shuffling of the card makes this the seventh consecutive five-round fight for Smith, while this will be the first for Clark. After an impressive run that resulted in a title shot against Jon Jones, Smith submitted former top contender Alexander Gustafsson. Since then, he’s lost his last two fights. Clark has been solid since getting picked up on Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight in 2016. After a 4-4 start to his UFC career, Clark has started putting it together with two straight wins. All but two writers picked Clark.

The co-main event is perhaps the best fight on the card as Miguel Baeza takes on Takashi Sato. Sato started his career mainly in Pancrase, going 14-2 with 11 stoppages. He’s gone 2-1 in the Octagon with a pair of TKO wins. Baeza is an undefeated prospect who is 2-0 since joining the UFC off the Contender Series and has stopped both of his opponents in the Octagon. Baeza was unanimously picked.

Heavyweights Parker Porter and Josh Parisian square off on the main card. Parisian comes into his UFC debut on a six-fight win streak that was capped off by his second career Contender Series victory. Porter made his promotional debut in August, but was knocked out quickly by Chris Daukaus. Parisian was unanimously picked.

Relative newcomers Spike Carlyle and Bill Algeo battle on the main card. Both men are looking to bounce back from losses. Carlyle fell to Billy Quarantillo and Algeo lost in his promotional debut to now-retired veteran Ricardo Lamas. All but one writer picked Carlyle.